Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Net Worth Hat

Hat That Displays Your Net Worth
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I propose a hat, with a LED display on the front, linked via some kind of pager-like device, to the wearer's bank/broker/accountant. The display would show, in big red glowing numerals, the wearer's net worth. The advantges of this hat would be numerous. It would be instantly possible to tell how important a person was, and if it was worth talking to them or not, by the numbers on their hat. People would also be aware of their relative social standing, and their importance to society. Furthermore, expensive clothes, watches, jewelery and other forms of conspicuous consumption would be rendered obsolete. All one would need to trumpet one's wealth to the world would be a Net Worth Hat!
BertieWooster, Jul 18 2001

Gold hat http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Gold_20hat
Baked. What's the point of shouting abou your Net Worth unless it's enough to buy a Gold hat? [hippo, Jul 18 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Would the display have space for a 'negative' sign at the beginning?
angel, Jul 18 2001

       It would be interesting to see a stock market crash while walking down a street filled with people wearing such hats. They might also need to be edible.
Aristotle, Jul 18 2001

       @ 15 years too late. Say, is that a Rolex...
thumbwax, Jul 18 2001

       Cars are to inaccurate, a Net Worth Hat gives a more precise figure. Anyway, it's too easy to cheat with cars by buying one with a loan.
BertieWooster, Jul 18 2001

       I'd put my telephone number on mine. Bertie would start buying me drinks and anyone else could just call. (Obviously I'd have the Cell Phone Selecto-Noises system fully configured first)
st3f, Jul 18 2001

       This should also be linked into stilts that hydraulically lengthen to make the wearer taller in proportion to his or her net worth. That way it would let illiterates know their place in society as well.
PotatoStew, Jul 18 2001

       BertieWooster, I cheat with cars by buying older, used cars in good condition, and driving them as long as they remain reliable. Also helps preserve that net worth.
beauxeault, Jul 18 2001

       beauxeault, that's what I do as well. Living in Los Angeles has its merits, none of which I can think of at the moment - though I get to see all manner of vanity and shallow self-importance and 'importance' by association.
thumbwax, Jul 18 2001

       Oh poo poo poo I say to all you left-leaning nay-sayers! Go live in Cuba if you think how much money someone has isn't important. Of course, in the wider scheme of things, nobody is important at all - we'll all be dead and gone one day. But in the meantime, how much money a person has is the best measure yet devised of their contribution to and importance to society. So why not broadcast it?
BertieWooster, Jul 19 2001

       This reminds me of my brother. There is a type of woman he refers to as a "Credit Check", meaning that she would have to run a credit check on you before she would consider dating you. The hat would be very useful for such people.
nathandrea, Jul 19 2001

       Good point UnaBubba, Chain, Flemming & Florey (Penicillin) probably didn't get rewarded in proportion to their contribution to the world. But I said wealth is the "best measure yet devised" not "a perfect measure" of these things. If you can think of a better measure to quote on a hat, please post it.   

       As for Michael Jackson, obviously a lot of people think he's doing something worthwhile, otherwise they wouldn't give him their money. Ah, the inherently democratic nature of capitalism is great!
BertieWooster, Jul 19 2001

       ...whereas everyone thought that Mother Theresa was wasting her time?
angel, Jul 19 2001

       Well, a possible side-effect of the net worth hat might be that it would encourage people who thought Mother Tersea and other such worthy but not particularly wealthy folk were getting a raw deal to give them some of their money, thus increasing their net worth and social standing. Put simply, if you think [insert righteous person here]'s lack of riches is in some way unjust, nothing is stopping you from helping them out of your own pocket...
BertieWooster, Jul 19 2001

       So it is possible to be 'worthy but not wealthy' . So you're using the fact that you're wrong to prove that you're right? </kidding>
angel, Jul 19 2001

       I think a more likely side-effect would be to encourage people to *take* money from those who seem "wealthy but *un*worthy."
beauxeault, Jul 19 2001

       Works are fine, but money is easier to put a number on, making it easier to put on a hat. Somehow I think a "list of my important works hat" would be too much of a chore for others to read. Anyway, who is to say which of your works are worth celebrating? Isn't that what money is for - to assign relative importance to the work people do, so that things people want done get done, and thigns nobody wants are left undone?   

       The net worth hat isn't about judgement anyway, it's about giving kudos to those that deserve it - becuase they have loads of cash!
BertieWooster, Jul 19 2001

       Don't forget that intangibles like brands have values now and they are hard to access. Ranking people's works or reputation could be done the same way - maybe with it being paid for a Net Worth Hat subscription.   

       People like Lord Archer (UK politician who has just been sent to jail for 4 years) or Micheal Portillo (UK politician rejected by his own party) would have had their hats show a distinct *drop* in value recently, using this system, as their "personal brand" values plummeted.
Aristotle, Jul 19 2001

       //how much money a person has is the best measure yet devised of their contribution to and importance to society//   

       No, it's a measure of how much they've managed to leech out of others, through guile and duplicity usually. Archer's in jail but he's still a rich man, so his hat will still show a vast Net Worth.   

       Hmm. Maybe this idea would work in reverse. Will it have a target underneath the LED display?
Guy Fox, Jul 19 2001

       Lord Archer is a classic example of worth not being dictated by money. He was found to have lied, arranged fake alibis and fabicrated evidence in order to win a libel case that won him half a million pounds.
Aristotle, Jul 20 2001

       Archer is an example of an asshole who is rich. There are plenty of them. I'm sure you'll find even more assholes who are poor however, and a greater proportion of assholes in the poor than the rich. Archer's in jail, but I think you'll find most of his cellmates are a whole lot poorer than he is...
BertieWooster, Jul 20 2001

       WHAT? A greater proportion of poor people are 'assholes'? Oh dear lord. If I run with this, I'll write a vernonesque diatribe.
I have never met a genuinely nice rich person. I have never met a rich person I considered genuine, as in, honest and fair. I have met diamond hearted poor people, and I'd far rather be stuck in an elevator with them.
lewisgirl, Jul 20 2001

       I think you're glamourising poverty lewisgirl. Crime staistics show that far more murders, rapes, robberies, acts of vandalism and just about any anti-social activity you can think of are perpetrated by poor people than rich or even just averagely-well off people. It stands to reason, the poor are pissed off and desperate enough to do things the rest of us wouldn't. Not to say all poor folks are bad and all rich folks are good, but in general, the rich are better educated, better looking and better company than everyone else. Hard to admit, but the wealthy really are superior human beings than us plebs.   

       As for my own net worth, I can honestly say I'm one of the poorest white men in all of asia...
BertieWooster, Jul 21 2001

       //Works are fine, but money is easier to put a number on, making it easier to put on a hat.//   

       Why not just base it on a person's height? Then you don't even need a hat. The taller you are, the more valuable you are. Heights could easily be compared on the spot, and you would then know your standing in society. After all, short people have trouble reaching objects on high shelves, so obviously they aren't quality people, like the rich... uh, I mean tall folks.   

       The idea that a person's true importance, or the value of a conversation with that person, is proportional to their net worth is mind-bogglingly ridiculous. The idea that there are more "assholes" among the poor than among the rich is inane. There are different methods and manners of assholedom, and I'm sure that the rates among the rich and the poor are relatively equal.   

       (btw, waug: if the "judge not lest ye be judged" was in reference to my first annotation, please realize that it was meant as <sarcasm>, though I left off my markup tags... :)
PotatoStew, Jul 21 2001

Hey, nice - Dollar Sign shaped propellor - hat, good-lookin'
thumbwax, Jul 21 2001

       While it's all very PC tp dislike rich people, it's been my experience that the rich are *generally* more amicable and pleasant than the poor. I think this is probably due to the fact that to get money out of people, and thus become wealthy, you usually have to be nice (or at the very least courteous) to them, and give them some kind of benefit. As they say, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.   

       Furthermore, the rich are more deserving of our attention because they have demonstrated they have a very useful skill, namely how to make money. In contrast, what of any use will we learn from conversing with a minimum-wager? How to flip burgers?
BertieWooster, Jul 22 2001

       Yep, Bertie's trolling. I don't actually mind the idea of a Net Worth Hat, but I think it should only be used by those who have personal share portfolios (portfolia?). Which, incidentally, includes me. Since there may be a slight positive correlation between people-that-own-shares-in-stuff and people-who-think-money-makes-a-person-worthwhile... these hat-wearers will gravitate towards themselves and may harmonise the stock markets in the process.
lewisgirl, Jul 22 2001

       Trolling might be what you call it, but this is half-bakery.com not straight-faced.com remember. Anyhow, not to mean any disrespect to you Mephista, but I think you do have an exceddingly negative, but unfortunately quite common, view of the workings of capitalism. Sure, there are plenty of people who become rich through trickery, cheating and hard-heartedness. But that's only one way to do it, and it's not even the easiest way. It sure isn't the most common way, as you would suggest. I'll say it again - you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. The reason for the continuing success of capitalism is that it generaly encourages people to do things which are of benefit to others. You can get rich by being a bank robber or a conman (though it's very difficult), but most people who are wealthy didn't get their money like that. Go see Schindler's List for a nice example of an out-and-out capitalist who is actually a decent guy.
BertieWooster, Jul 22 2001

       //what of any use will we learn from conversing with a minimum-wager? How to flip burgers?//   

       Obviously, Bertie, *you* will learn nothing from talking with a poor person, simply because you have already decided that there is nothing worthwhile to be learned from them. Others may learn much, because they haven't prejudged the person they're talking to.   

       If all you're interested in learning about is how to make money (which seems to be the case) then you may be right: a poor person probably won't be much use to you. If you care at all about anything in addition to or other than money, then things will be different.   

       I learned a little bit about rock climbing from a man in California who, being a rock climbing instructor, certainly wasn't rich. I've had worthwhile conversations with the people who clean the building where I used to work. I learned something about the importance of family and hard work from people in Guatemala who would be considered well below the poverty level by the standards of most countries. So it's obviously false and a mockery of the concept of "learning" to say that nothing worthwhile can be learned by talking to poor people.
PotatoStew, Jul 22 2001

       I probably ought to point out that "Schindler's List" is a Hollywood film with all that entails in terms of accuracy. Maybe Bertie should see the "Brassed Off", "The Full Monty" or "Billy Elliot" to see if he can grasp how the poor can contain nice people.
Aristotle, Jul 23 2001

       Strange, isn't it, that the three films you mention there are Brit flicks.
lewisgirl, Jul 23 2001

       Of course there isn't. Knowing that a person is a millionaire tells you exactly one thing about him; that he *is* a millionaire. Conversely, knowing that a person is poor tells you only that that person is poor. Any assumption made on the basis of that fact is totally groundless, and similarly making an assessment of a person's character only serves to tell us more about yours.
angel, Jul 23 2001

       lewisgirl: Yes, the later three films I mention are contemporary British films that I would recommend as antidotes to some American films. Besides Shindler's List is about someone seeking to exploit cheap labour developing a conscience.
Aristotle, Jul 23 2001

       //you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar//   

       For the record, you can catch more flies with horseshit than with honey......which may also be closer to the truth as to how many people *make* their money......
Susen, Jul 23 2001

       Good point Susen. I also hold that *most* materially successful people are in that position because they are excellent salesmen (or women). Whether they have humble beginnings, or are born with money, their ability to promote whatever it is that they are trying to sell is what allows them to either make or hold their fortunes. Take Don King for example: Attractive? Genuine? Well Educated? Nope. Able to sell dehydrated water in the Sahara? Most definitely. Wealthy? Oh Yeah. BTW - he is the original model for the personal net worth "hat" (sort of).
Chudwik, Jul 23 2001

       I'm a little reluctant to drag this back to a 'functionality' versus 'personality' discussion, but wouldn't the net worth hat be useful if it would communicate with traffic lights, elevators and telephone busy signals? It stands to reason that rich people deserve to get green lights wherever they go (of course, ambulances would get priority if their municipality was suitably well-endowed) and other appropriate perks.
tminus12, Jul 26 2001

       It could also advertise the wearer's ransom so random gunmen don't shoot them as they can now see the clear benefit of kidnapping them instead.
Aristotle, Jul 26 2001

       That's fine as far as it goes, but if the return that you get from spending £15 on a CD is more than the return from giving the same amount to Ma T, does this not indicate that Ma T is more worthy? You're prepared to give the same and get less back.
angel, Jul 26 2001

       I feel I have to add my own points, as rich & poor are things I've been around quite a bit.

Rich people have a sort of attitude to poor people, just as poor have one to rich people. I find myself pissed at rich people because my boss is quite well off and his friends....well, most of them are multi millionaires, and most of them have been dicks. They have ALWAYS wanted stuff for free, such as a whole fucking tune-up (spark plug wires and plugs, new tires, flushed cooling system, etc.) for their brand new Suburban (loaded with TVs, VCRs, a Nintendo 64, & more), rides from the airport to distances up to 60 miles away, shit like that. How come a person with so much money won't pay for things like the rest of us? And, yes, they can be nice, but usually only to other rich people.

I live in a semi-poor neighborhood (the houses aren't bad but the neighborhood is, lowering the cost) and it really, really sucks. Cop cars, ambulances, occasional gunshots, "souped up" Civics racing, fights in my own fucking front yard, 13 year old white trash sluts fighting with their obese mom all day while white trash dad sings off key with his garage band that plays with the garage door open, Guatemalans across the street cleaning their car all hours of day/night with extremely loud South American Polka Funk Salsa music blasting...I hate poor people too. Soon I'll be living in an upper-middle class area (yaaay!) and maybe I'll have a different view, but until then, this is it: Money = nothing.
AfroAssault, Sep 27 2001

I expect a third paragraph to be added in the near future. :o)
st3f, Sep 27 2001

       I thought this idea might be for a net that was worth exactly one hat.
bnip, Aug 17 2008

       OMG this is such a bad idea, I think it would end up keeping less well off people down, cause it would be hard to convince people with more that you had it going on, if you had a hat tellign them that you were actually broke, I think it would make everyone super competive and vicious and they would only end up hanging out with people with more or less the same net worth and that would also make it harder, cause they say that your income in the avrage of the six people that you hang out most with, so in short I see the hat as being very detrimental to people gettting ahead in life, and there's just no reason to have it, and besides it's much more fun to show off wealth by buying expensive things that just wearing alittle sign that says "I'm rich"/
ModernDivo, Aug 18 2008

       <multiple expleitives deleted>   

       Wow. I'm, for the most part, impressed by the control, and the mien of most of the responses put up here. I'd agree that [BW] was most likely trolling, or was certainly doing a good impression of it. I'd prefer to think that there aren't any people in the real world that actually think this way. Maybe I'm wrong.   

       Overt displays of wealth are distasteful, and people who are impressed by them I find repugnant.   

       Either way, 'ol bert'd certainly be looking for his teeth were he to talk like that around me.
Custardguts, Aug 18 2008

       Internet tough guy to the rescue!
Voice, Aug 18 2008

       "How do you know he's a king?" "Because he hasn't got shit all over him."
mecotterill, Aug 18 2008

       Oh, nice. Yep, guilty. I just really, *really* don't like this kind of talk.
Custardguts, Aug 19 2008


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